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Blackpool have been lacking before – but may not pull out this time
Blackpool are not a team to get their business done quickly during the summer transfer market. During the summer of 2010, the team had just fifteen squad members at their disposal – three days before their first ever season in the Premier League began. But while the club pulled together five key signings and bring their total squad number to the maximum of twenty-five players by the time of their opening match of the season, they might not be as lucky this time.
Scroll four years on, and Blackpool have the same issue. Heading into the upcoming season, they are lacking a substantial amount of squad players. And while it isn’t as much of an issue at this point in time – Blackpool still have nearly a month to complete their squad before the 2014/2015 season begins. The only issue comes in the fact of pre-season moneymaking friendlies, and the fact that the team only has eight registered players, not even enough to form a proper starting eleven. None of those eight are a goalkeeper. In fact, in the club’s friendly against Penrith a little over a week ago, five of their starting eleven were officially labeled “trialist”s. Most of the team had only met each other on the bus to the match. Since the end of last season, twenty-seven players have left the club. None have arrived.
Many had seen the club’s venture into the Premier League the dawn of a new era for the club. Only on the last day of the season did they find themselves relegated by a single point, after an impressive performance against Manchester United. Certainly, the sum of £80 million they generated from their season in the top flight helped contribute to their Championship play-off final appearance the very next season.
Yet those ambitions have fallen dramatically. While in the summer dawning on their first ever Premier League campaign saw some class players join the club, and the arrival of much more talent due to top flight attraction, this time they are on the other end of the scale. The team, which hardly avoided relegation last season, is not going to be attracting even Championship quality players with just eight currently registered. Furthermore, the club have almost become the laughing stock of other Championship club fans. No attraction comes with that – Blackpool might not get together a even half-decent squad this time.
“The squad is not just thin, it is almost non-existent. There seems to be a significant lack of progress. It is a complete and utter shambles.” – Glenn Bowley chairman of Blackpool’s official supporters group